Chemosensory Fall 2016 Retreat at Wakulla Springs
September 30th, noon to 5:30 pm
Retreat Flyer and Schedule - 'Click' here to download
Check out photos from the Event - 'Click here' to view
There was a fall Chemosensory Training Grant Retreat at Wakulla Springs State Park at the Dogwood Pavilion. The event was for our chemosensory trainees (postdoctoral and predoctoral), faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and interested scientists and students. Everyone with an interest in chemosensory research was welcomed. We started the afternoon with a picnic lunch on the deck outside the pavilion. Each of our supported trainees provided 12- minute talks of their progress and future research plans that covered the physiology, behavior, molecular, or psychophysical explorations of olfaction or taste. Following the short talks, we took a break and enjoyed a one hour river cruise for the mid afternoon. We returned for a special keynote address by Dr. Robert J. Lee of the University of Pennsylvania who spoke on "Bitter bodyguards and sweet sentinels: taste receptors in airway immunity". An excerpt from his research page can be found below.
"We study the epithelial cells that line the airway. When airway cell function goes awry, it can lead to diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF), asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), and allergy. To understand how airway cells sense and respond to pathogens, we combine biochemistry and molecular biology with real-time measurements of airway cell signaling and associated physiological responses, including ciliary beating, calcium signaling, fluid secretion, ion transport, nitric oxide production, and antimicrobial peptide secretion. Our goal is to better understand the cellular and molecular basis of airway diseases to identify novel molecular targets for new therapies." - Robert Lee
Florida State University remains a rich training ground for postdoctoral scholars in the Chemosensory Sciences, initiating from pioneers in this discipline that built this scientific strength upon joining the university. Professor Lloyd Beidler was called "the father of taste physiology", coming to FSU in 1950, just as the university was making the transition to status as a major research institution, and his influence was strongly felt in the formation of the Department of Biological Science in 1956 from a collection of small teaching departments and the university's transformation into a major force in neuroscience research. Professor Pasquale Graziadei was the first to propose in 1966, then demonstrate, that olfactory receptor neurons were continually generated in vivo – from the population of globose basal cells. He showed that olfactory neuron axons were critical in inducing the formation of their target, the olfactory bulb, during normal development. Professor Michael Meredith joined FSU in 1981, and has been instrumental in guiding the field in functionally mapping brain regions responsible for socially relevant and non-relevant stimuli and exploring the effect of reproductive experience on chemosensory transmission. Professors Meredith and Mark Berkley formally originated our Program in Neuroscience in 1991, and Meredith launched a successful training of predoctoral students and postdoctoral scholars by securing a training grant from the National Institutes of Health at the NIDCD in 1995. After twenty years directing the training grant program, Professor Meredith serves as the co-director to team with Professor Debra Ann Fadool, the new director of the program.
NIH Chemosensory Training Grant Program Today
Postdoctoral Scholars select a mentor from our team of faculty trainers and are encouraged to directly contact one or a number of trainers for employment opportunities and specific application procedures. Scholars participate in semester-long rotating series of reading / practicum group with the trainers, annual special lecture series in the chemical senses, conference travel presentation of their research, and professional development activities with the FSU postdoctoral association. Scholars are expected to develop an IDP with their selected mentor, and are coached in grant writing exercises to apply for extramural awards and fellowships. Appointments are provided access to health insurance benefits, retirement option plans, seminole savings program, and an annual budget up to $7,200 for training-related expenses. Salary is commensurate with level of experience as set by NIH institutional training grant guidelines.
We have recently hired a new postdoctoral trainee for our 2016 - 2018 training opportunity. We will be seeking a new trainee in the Spring of 2017.
Hiring Requirements -
- PhD in Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Physics, Neuroscience, or related discipline
- On-site or skype interview with the trainers
- US Citizenship
- Demonstrated publication and presentation accomplishment
Preference Given -
- Candidates who are recent doctoral graduates
- Candidates with past experience and future career interest as independent researchers in the chemosensory discipline
- Strong scholastic aptitude
- Highly motivated to join an interactive training program in the neurosciences